Winter in Osaka 2022: Top Things to Do in Osaka in Winter
Updated: Nov 18, 2022
Spending winter in Osaka? Osaka is one of the most vibrant places in Japan in winter. Illuminations, themed events, and the effort of local communities make Osaka a worthy place to visit are so inspiring that you don’t want to miss this grand opportunity to experience this time of year. If you are still on the fence about what to do or where to go, no worries. Here are the top things to do in Osaka in winter:
1. Umeda Sky Building Christmas
Umeda Sky Building in Kita is one of the must-visit places in Osaka. During the Christmas season, this 173-meter-tall skyscraper becomes even more worth visiting as they celebrate festivities. From November 23-December 25, Umeda Sky Building showcases a 7-meter-tall Christmas tree lit up, a fountain show, and trees fully lit and decorated. Admission is free.
2. Explore Dotonbori on foot
Dotonbori is the center of Osaka. So it’s not a complete trip without exploring Dotonbori where you can find a bunch of interesting things. There are so many things to do in Dotonbori, whether you’re looking to eat, drink, or shop.
If you want to explore Dotonbori with a local, sign up for our Osaka Free Walking Tour.
3. Osaka Castle Illuminage
Illuminage is a festival of extravagant light displays. It’s an annual event that happens across Japan and Osaka is one of them. The event takes place at the Osaka Castle grounds, turning it into an out-of-this-world attraction at night, shining and glimmering from the 3 million LED lights. Admission is 1,300 yen. Check out more winter illumination in Osaka!
If you are looking for a private tour for your friends and family, we have a Private Group Walking Tour where our local guides can give you a personalized tour in Osaka.
4. Food crawl at Hozenji Yokocho
Hozenji Yokocho is one of the top places in Osaka to find food. It’s a narrow cobblestone alley filled with quaint, hole-in-the-wall bars, cafes, food stalls, and restaurants that come alive at night. We highly recommend visiting the Hozenji Yokocho at night so you can surely visit the best restaurants here. If you’re looking for the best eats in Osaka, check out our Osaka Food Guide to know what to find!
5. See your fave characters at Universal Studios Japan
Universal Studios Japan is hosting its annual Christmas event from November until January 9. You’ll see your favorite childhood characters like Hello Kitty, Elmo, Snoopy, and so many others. They are also reprising the massive 30-meter-tall fully ornamented Christmas tree after 3 years. Check out their website for more information.
6. Go shopping
Of course, you’re not leaving Osaka without going shopping. Osaka is a shopping haven for buyers of all stripes, whether you like thrift shops or luxury houses. We highly recommend going around Umeda and Namba, the biggest shipping areas in Osaka. Check out our Osaka Shopping Guide to know where to shop in Osaka!
7. Namba Hikaritabi
The Namba district lights up starting November 11 and usually goes on until February 2023. Over 650,000 LED lights are mounted on trees, buildings, arcs, and parks across the district. At Namba Parks, a shopping and office complex, you will surely be in awe of the glowing amphitheater and the waterfall of light.
8. Ice skating in the Osaka Bay Area
Many ice skating rinks in Osaka are open in the Osaka Bay Area during the winter months. If you want a memorable winter in Osaka, we highly recommend ice skating, especially if you have kids. The Osaka Bay Area is home to a bunch of ice skating rinks, such as Kanku Ice Arena, Naniwa Ice Skating, and Osaka Rinkai Sports Center.
9. Midosuji Illumination
Midosuji Illumination is one of the most popular events during winter in Osaka. Midosuji is now breaking records as the street with the most illuminated trees, extending for 4 km between the intersections of Ooebashi-Kitazune and Hanshi-mae. The trees are lit up from 5 pm to 11 pm until December 31.
10. Harry Potter Christmas at Grand Front Osaka
Another family-friendly tourist attraction to spice up your winter in Osaka is the Harry Potter-themed event at Grand Front Osaka in Kita in partnership with Harry Potter Wizarding World. The illumination event showcases a 13-meter-tall Harry Potter-inspired Christmas tree along with over 330,000 LED lights starting from November 10 until December 25.
Want to discover more of Osaka with a local? Join our Osaka Free Walking Tour and experience Osaka’s rich food culture and history.
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